Posted by: mikenicholsblog | August 28, 2014

everything to live them

“This is just my cross to bear,” are words which people have spoken in particularly hard seasons of life. You may have even spoken words like this yourself. I know I have! Why? Because life is sometimes very hard, and we all relate pain and suffering with a cross. It’s interesting to me that when I think of those words, I readily associate them with the biblical truth that all Christ-followers are called to carry their own crosses or they can’t be His disciples (Luke 14:27). Strong words for sure, but words that Christ conveyed to a large crowd that was following Him one day.

The words Christ spoke to the large crowd are words that we all should take very seriously in our right now. Sometimes in an effort to make the gospel palatable to all, we want to make it all about what is offered (which is amazing!), without speaking of what it costs (the real cost of discipleship). Kyle Idleman speaks to this very issue in his book, Not a Fan.

“So in case someone left it out or forgot to mention it when they explained to you what it meant to be a Christian, let me be clear: There is no forgiveness without repentance. There is no salvation without surrender. There is no surrender without death. There is no believing without committing.”

I have meditated on Luke 14:25-33 over the last several days. Christ’s words are so strong in this passage and they should never be ignored. In my last article, I discussed the cost of discipleship from this passage, and in the next few lines, I would like to place emphasis on two more statements that cannot be ignored.

Luke 14:27 (MSG)
Anyone who won’t shoulder his own cross and follow behind me can’t be my disciple.

Luke 14:33 (MSG)
Simply put, if you’re not willing to take what is dearest to  you, whether plans or people, and kiss it good-bye, you can’t be my disciple.

There is no way to read these two verses and not believe that Christ is demanding total allegiance. And I should also mention that tucked between these verses are two parables about counting the cost. I believe Jesus was making a paramount point to all those in the crowd about the cost of discipleship. Christ wants to be the primary allegiance for anyone who follows Him. It should never be Christ plus; it should always be Christ above all else!

I’m sure you agree with the words of Jesus. But today, August 29, 2014, how is your journey of discipleship going? An old song called, Whatever it Takes, by Lanny Wolfe came to my mind as I pondered Christ above all. Note the discipleship heart in these two verses.

Take the dearest things to me,
If that’s how it must be,
To draw me closer to Thee;
Let the disappointments come,
Lonely days without the sun,
If through sorrow more like You I become.

I’ll trade sunshine for rain
Comfort for pain –
That’s what I’ll be willing to do –
For whatever it takes for my will to break,
That’s what I’ll be willing to do.

“Whatever it takes” is the heart of a disciple. It takes nothing to sing the words, and everything to live them. I’ll ask again, how is your journey of discipleship going?  Are you counting the cost?  Are you calculating it but not paying it?  Does your heart feel the words; does your mouth sing the words; does your life live the words?  Take heart, no matter your answers, Jesus wants to join you on your journey.  He’ll forgive where forgiveness is needed; He’ll speak encouragement, gift courage, and carry your burden; He’ll walk step by step with you through its full length.

Although we would never insert ourselves, because He and only He is able, we’ve prayed to be His hands and feet if you feel the prompt to reach out to someone.  We are companions on the journey.

yeam_2014


Responses

  1. Awesome Thanks


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